Yes, it’s true, I have finally succumbed to the “fad” known as social networking. Being the tech geek that I am, you’d think I would have caught on sooner, but it seems I am a latecomer to this particular party.
It all started back in March, when I dipped my toe in the water by creating a professional profile on LinkedIn. I was surprised to discover how many contacts from my email address book already had a presence there! I immediately connected to many of them, and I’m strangely proud of the quality of the LinkedIn network that I have established, both as the inviter and the invitee. These are the professionals — coworkers, clients, and industry colleagues — whom I want to keep track of and in touch with. I may need them some day.
Then in July, spurred by two unrelated but nearly simultaneous requests, I hit Facebook and immediately started linking up with friends, family members, and former classmates. One friend wondered what took me so long to get there, being a high tech blogger and all. The answer is, I didn’t get it. But now I do! I love checking in on the brief status updates of my friends every day and enjoying a few rounds of Scramble (a highly addictive Boggle style game). Through Facebook, I know who is facing surgery, who is dodging hurricanes, who is traveling, who loves laundry, who is watching what on TV, who is doing what at work, and what type of mood various friends may be in, among other things. It has quickly become a preferred way to stay in touch. Recently, I planned an outing with some local friends entirely through Facebook. And thanks to a neat application called Simplaris Blogcast, I have even managed to rig this very blog to automatically notify Facebook whenever I publish a new entry. Blogcast adds a link to the new post directly in my Facebook profile. I don’t have to do a thing!
But now, less than two months into Facebook, people are telling me I should be on Twitter, too. Say what? I just can’t keep up with the bleeding edge of technology that is moving faster than the speed of light. I’m not so sure I have time for all this social networking. Or the desire to broadcast my life so constantly and minutely, which is what a site like Twitter seems to encourage. That, I still don’t get.
What I do “get” is the cool new “ShareThis” link that is now at the bottom of all of my posts. A good friend was recently named Chief Product Officer (announced yesterday) for the company responsible for this clever utility. If you are so inclined, at the click of a button you can now share any of my posts with your choice of social bookmarking or social networking sites, or forward the link directly to anyone via email. I think it’s a very elegant solution to eliminating the clutter of social icons that I see on some blogs, and I am proud to add it to mine.